Congolese cobalt mines are once again in the spotlight. The automaker Tesla is said to be on the verge of concluding an agreement to source from Glencore. The goal is to secure tons of minerals essential to its activity …

The American company Tesla wants to buy cobalt from Glencore to supply its new factories in China and Germany. This is what reports the Financial Times on Tuesday , relayed in stride by several international media, whose sources specify that the agreement between the two parties would relate to an annual supply of 6,000 tonnes of cobalt extracted in the DRC.

If the two companies have not yet confirmed the information, it should be noted that the agreement goes in the same direction as the previous ones concluded by Glencore with Samsung SDI (last February) and the Chinese GEM (in October). For the transaction of last February for example, the Swiss giant had agreed with Samsung on an annual independent audit of the extraction and production sites to verify the absence of children in the mines.

In a context where the end users of cobalt (vehicle manufacturers and industrial giants) are regularly accused of encouraging child labor in Congolese mines, all transactions are scrutinized.

For the American Tesla, buying cobalt from Glencore may reflect a desire to control the supply chain and at the same time secure an ore, the availability of which is becoming critical.


Source: Agence Ecofin